The Boston College Eagles defeated the Syracuse Orange 96-81 at Conte Forum Sunday afternoon, snapping a 664-day-long losing streak in ACC play.
Following the game, Jim Christian met the media. Here’s what he had to say. Transcript is courtesy of BCEagles.com.
On Things That Need To Happen To Compete in ACC Play
"I think a lot of things have to happen. We have to get the ball to the right spots. The guy who gets it there has to make the right decision and then you've got to make shots. Early in the game, I thought we did a really good job of getting them scoring and building confidence in transition. Any time you get 28 assists, guys are making right decisions with the basketball. I thought Connar (Tava) did a great job when he could the ball in the middle, finding the right guys. Niko (Popovic) finished inside, obviously Ky (Bowman) and Jerome (Robinson) and Jordan Chatman make open shots. I'm proud of them. That's about as well as you can execute against an unbelievably good zone team.
On The Losing Streak Getting Snapped
"Past is the past … I understand why people have to ask the question, but it absolutely means nothing to anybody in that locker room. None of those guys played in those games. I coached them, so it meant something to me because I watched these guys celebrate. As I told them and as I said on the TV afterwards, there were seven ACC games this weekend. Seven teams are 0-1 and seven teams are 1-0. And that's really what this was. If you want to have a chance to compete for what we're trying to compete for, just like everybody else, then you better win at home. We won at home. That's the way I'm looking at it. I don't really worry what people say or what's happened in the past. I fully understand it, and I fully understand why people have to talk about it, but we don't have to buy into it. We don't. One thing I love about this group: even we lost games we know we should've won, or played poorly, we always bounced back. That's a true testament to the kind of guys we have on our team."
On Syracuse’s Forcing of Turnovers
"Thirteen turnovers was huge for us. They lead the league in steals – they average 10 steals a game. So not allowing them to get live-ball turnovers that they can convert was a major, major part of the game plan. Handling pressure was a major part of the game plan. I thought we did a really good job in both areas."
On Team’s Performance In Game
"I thought we played really well the whole Providence game. In the first half of this game, I thought our defense played was really good. The second half I thought our defense was poor. I think individually, I told our team, I thought this was the most connected we have been as a group for 40 minutes. I don't think anybody hung their head after a mistake. You saw guys after they get beat say not again, it's my fault. And that's all you can asked for. I thought we were unbelievably upbeat and positive with one another and I think that's how you have to play. These guys sign up to play these 18 games, which are grueling. They sign up to play and this was their first opportunity and I'm proud of him."
On Ky Bowman
"It's been interesting to me. He's obviously played unbelievably well the last four, five games. But that's the way he practices for the whole preseason – from the day he got here in the summer to the day we played our first game. That's how he practiced, but he just wasn't performing in the game the way we knew he could. We had a conversation before Auburn where I said, 'Hey listen. You're the guy. You're my guy.' Like in the NFL when they said you're the quarterback, it's your job. We're going to ride you and get you better and keep making you learn and letting you play through different situations. You know, every situation is new to him. Every one. Now we're going to go on the road. That's going to be new to him. In someone else's building. So everything is different and new. He's got such a good mentality. I've told this before, but what summed it up for me is when he played against Fairfield and had 33 points and eight rebounds and whatever he had assist-wise, but when he walked on the bus and he said, 'My individual defense needs to get much better.' That's Ky Bowman. That's why he's going to be a huge, huge piece of our team moving forward for many years."